Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory

Rethinking approaches to Shakespeare and early modern literature for the 21st century

Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory #34: Shakespeare and Trump with Jeffrey R. Wilson

Neema welcomes Jeffrey R. Wilson (Harvard) to discuss the election of Donald Trump, its impact on the intellectual climate, and some of the ways in which Shakespeare was used in the coverage of the US election. Wilson’s essay, “Public Shakespeareanism: The Bard in the 2016 American Presidential Election,” is available upon request from the author; email The instances of “public Shakespeareanism” discussed in the essay and the podcast include:

Andrew Cutrofello, “Shakespeare and Trump: What’s in a Name?” (December 15, 2015),

Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory #32: Interview with Stephen Greenblatt

Ahead of the publication of his forthcoming book Shakespeare and New Historicist Theory (for the Arden Shakespeare and Theory series), Neema interviews new historicism’s most influential exponent, Stephen Greenblatt (Harvard). Topics include the cultural and political moment of the late 1960s, Louis Althusser, the genesis of new historicism, how and why Shakespeare has endured across history, and, yes, Donald Trump.

Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory #29: Shakespeare and Queer Theory with Melissa E. Sanchez

Neema interviews Melissa E. Sanchez (University of Pennsylvania) about her forthcoming book Shakespeare and Queer Theory for the Arden Shakespeare and Theory series. Discussion includes queerness in Shakespeare, whether or not it is important to ask if Shakespeare himself was gay, Shakespeare’s view of sexuality, and misogyny in the current US presidential election.

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